Friday, June 28, 2013

Building walls

Just the other day the U.S. Senate passed a historic immigration reform bill by a two-to-one margin. The bill would offer a pathway to citizenship for the millions of people who came to this country without our government's permission.

But the bill came with a huge cost - the increased militarization of our border with Mexico. The bill would call for 20,000 more border guards, increased surveillance (including drones) and more fencing along the border.

And for what?

Why is it do damn important to beef up border security to the south? Why did Republicans insist on more border security before they'd vote for the bill?

Racism. Pure and simple.

Those folks south of the border don't look like us. They don't talk like us.

White Republicans are fearful that their grip on power is withering away. Their message of hate and animosity toward the poor and working class won't sell to a changing population. But they will do what it takes to hold on to whatever power they can.

Just take a look at all the bills designed to restrict access to the polls. The purpose of voter ID laws isn't to prevent non-existent voter fraud; the purpose is to make it harder for the poor, the elderly and the immigrants to register to vote. Bills to reduce early voting periods are designed to make it harder for elderly and minority voters to get to the polls. And the opposition the Right has to granting citizenship to immigrants is rooted in their knowledge that as the voting populace becomes more and more diverse, their grip on power lessens.

Finally, lest we forget. Very few of us are native-born. We are, for the most part, all immigrants. Some of us came here with permission. Some did not. It is that diversity that makes us unique. It is that diversity that makes us a richer society.

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